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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is calling for the promotion of sustainable development in the construction idustry.
  • This involves adopting methods and practices that are environmentally friendly and resource-efficient in the design, building, maintenance and deconstruction of structures.
  • “This Government understands that sustainable housing and infrastructure development is an inevitable and helpful approach if we are to meet the need for improved efficiency and sustainability,” Senator Charles Jr. said.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is calling for the promotion of sustainable development in the construction industry.

This involves adopting methods and practices that are environmentally friendly and resource-efficient in the design, building, maintenance and deconstruction of structures.

“This Government understands that sustainable housing and infrastructure development is an inevitable and helpful approach if we are to meet the need for improved efficiency and sustainability,” Senator Charles Jr. said.

“It is the only real type of development in 2019 and beyond. Anything else can be seen as a limited or worthless investment,” he added.

Senator Charles Jr. was addressing the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ) Annual Seminar on Wednesday (November 6), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

He argued that the negative impact on the environment from development, either through the depletion of non-renewable resources, high consumption of energy, among other issues, can be substantially reduced by changes in the application of construction techniques.

As such, he said that the time is right to start exploring and promoting sustainable construction practices and training contractors and skilled labourers in the effective use of these methods.

“We have to… promote and train persons in environment impact mitigation, and, of course… cutting-edge and green technologies as a vehicle towards this sustainability that I speak of,” Minister Charles Jr. said.

He noted that some of the technologies that are needed “might be out of our economic reach for now, but there is still the possibility for us to change our attitude, change our behaviour, change our practices”.

At the same time, he said that the country’s policies, legislation and guidelines will have to be improved, and pledged Government’s commitment towards making that a reality.

Meanwhile, President of the IMAJ, Lenworth Kelly, said the Association is working with HEART Trust/NTA to get all of its workers certified.

“It is the Masterbuilders’ firm belief that every one of our workers must at least be job certified.

“We are trying to bring some formality to [the industry] to say ‘okay, this certificate says that I am competent at this particular training, at this particular skill’,” he said.

The IMAJ seminar focused on raising awareness about developments in the construction industry, assist practitioners to recognise their own knowledge and skill deficits and the need for further development, and also looked at the nature and functions of construction contracts.